JK Rowling 'saddened' by claim of plagiarism
Harry Potter author hit by billion-dollar lawsuit
Published 19/02/2010 | 05:00
JK Rowling has been named in a billion-dollar lawsuit alleging she stole ideas for her wildly popular and lucrative Harry Potter books from another British author.
Last night the author strongly denied the allegation.
"I am saddened that yet another claim has been made that I have taken material from another source to write Harry," she said last night. "The fact is I had never heard of the author or the book before the first accusation by those connected to the author's estate in 2004. I have certainly never read the book.
"The claims that are made are not only unfounded but absurd and I am disappointed that I, and my UK publisher Bloomsbury, are put in a position to have to defend ourselves. We will be applying to the court immediately for a ruling that the claim is without merit and should therefore be dismissed without delay."
The suit was launched by lawyers acting for the estate of the late Adrian Jacobs. Lawyers added Rowling as a defendant to a lawsuit it originally filed in June against Bloomsbury Publishing PLC for alleged copyright infringement, according to a statement released by the estate's representatives, who are based in Australia.
The lawsuit, filed in a London court, claims Rowling's book 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' copied substantial parts of Jacobs' 1987 book, 'The Adventures of Willy the Wizard -- No 1 Livid Land'. Jacobs' estate also claims that many other ideas from Willy the Wizard were copied into the Harry Potter books. Jacobs died in London in 1997.
'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' is the fourth book in Rowling's series and was published in July 2000.
Sydney agent Max Markson, who is representing the trustee of Jacobs' estate, Paul Allen, said Rowling was added to the lawsuit after Allen learned that the statute of limitations to sue her had not run out, as previously thought.
"I estimate it's a billion-dollar case," Markson said last night. But JK Rowling is adamant that the claim is "completely untrue".